Are you looking for ways to save money on a tight budget? You're in luck!
A lot of families are having it tough right now. The cost of living is higher than most people have ever experienced. With the likes of gas, housing, and even food prices rising to never-before-seen levels, it's becoming harder than ever to make ends meet.
With the need for families to budget and save money being greater than ever, it is true that every little bit helps.
Here are 8 budgeting tips for families that will allow them to start saving today. Adopt these, and you should find your financial pressures will start to ease very quickly.Living on a tight budget doesn't have to mean giving up everything you love. Check out these smart ways to save money and make your dollar go further! Click To Tweet
Get a handle on your expenditures
You first need to get a handle on your expenditures, as this will tell you exactly where your money is being spent.
Create a spreadsheet that records every fixed and regular expense you can think of. This includes rent/mortgage, utility bills, insurance payments, credit card bills, subscriptions, purchases, and loan repayments. If necessary, refer to your bank statements to help you collate this information.
It will take you a little bit of time to do this. Once you get a full picture of where your money goes every month, you will soon be able to identify cost-saving opportunities.
Cut some expenses
With the spreadsheet complete, you should next go through each expenditure and give yourself an honest and proper assessment as to whether that cost is justified.
For instance, do you really need to keep paying for a streaming service you haven’t used in months? Or a landline phone you never use? Do you really need to spend so much money on alcohol every week? And do you really need to get your hair and nails done every four weeks?
It can be easy to spend money out of habit or on a ‘set and forget’ basis. But running an audit of your expenditure every six months or so can seriously streamline how much you fork out on stuff you don’t use or even need. Which could end up saving you a tidy sum of money.
Re-evaluate other expenses
One of the best ways to save money on a tight budget is to look for ways to reduce your expenses. Having eliminated the expenses you no longer need, the next step is to re-evaluate your other major expenses and, in particular, work out where you can save money.
For instance, can you get a better deal on your mortgage? Can you find cheaper insurance for your health, car, or life? Have you got the best mobile phone or broadband deal out there? Is there a cheaper utility provider around?
More often than not, you can save yourself thousands of dollars a year just by switching to service providers that offer a cheaper rate than you are already paying.
What financial assistance are you eligible for?
Once you have culled certain expenses and reduced other prominent ones, you should try and determine whether you are eligible for financial assistance. This may be from the government or other institutions.
This may include regular payments to assist with the cost of living, such as:
- Family Tax Benefit Parts A and B
- Mortgage relief
- Rent assistance
- Other concessions and rebates, like child care subsidies – you can read more here
All of which could result in you receiving a tidy sum to help out with your daily cost of living.
Organize your grocery shopping
Food is a big part of every family's weekly budget, and if you are not careful, you can easily spend way more money than you need on groceries.
As a rule, the more organized you are when you shop for groceries, the more money you can save. For this reason, it is a good idea to order your groceries online for click and collect, as opposed to actually going to the supermarket, where impulse purchases might tempt you.
If you have a few different brands of supermarkets near to where you live, it is also a good idea to create another spreadsheet that shows the cost of products you want to buy at each of them.
For example, if you find that milk is 50 cents cheaper at supermarket B than it is at supermarket A where you usually do your weekly shopping, and you buy 2 bottles of milk a week, you can save yourself $52 a year just buying it from there.
Apply a comparison between all the products you want to buy, and that figure could run into several thousands of dollars over the course of a year. This is just one idea. There are plenty of other ways you can save money on food shopping whilst still being healthy.
Cancel your credit cards
Credit cards can be very dangerous things, especially when it comes to impulse purchases. So, you should seriously think about canceling your credit card.
If you are reluctant to do that, at the very least reduce the limit to no more than $1000, and if possible, even $500. There are plenty of resources available to assist you in getting your finances under control. So, before you cancel your credit card, take a look at ways to save money on a tight budget. You may be surprised at how easy it is to stay on track.
As a rule, always pay for any purchase you make with cash or debit cards. This way you will be better able to live within your means and ensure you are not accruing interest on purchases you haven’t paid off yet.
Join rewards programs
Rewards programs can be very useful to families that are struggling financially. Not only can they save you money on food and groceries, but they can also save for you at the bowser and various other retail outlets too.
Overall, less is probably more when it comes to rewards programs. So, pick a couple you know you will most benefit from.
Don’t buy brand new
Obviously, this depends on what it is you want to buy, but as a general rule you should try and avoid buying things that are brand new. Brand new can often mean expensive, so it is worth searching online, or at charity shops, to see if you can find something second-hand that will suit just as well – which you should be able to pick up at half the price.
Final Thoughts on ways to save money on a tight budget
So there you have it – eight ways to save money on a tight budget. There is an old adage that states ‘if you save the pennies, the pounds will follow’. Well, the tips outlined above are actually designed to save you pennies and pounds congruently!
While it might take a bit of time to set it all up, it is an exercise that is well worth doing. Not least, because you should be able to enjoy significant savings if you adopt them all.
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